Brides and grooms often find themselves, during the planning of their own wedding and the attending of friends’ weddings, in a limbo between the traditions of etiquette and the customs of today’s modern society. Well ladies and gentlemen, I am here to solve your etiquette riddles and answer your questions on good taste and manners!
Do you think it is appropriate to have a full or partial cash bar at a wedding reception? Some coworkers and I were wondering whether it would be rude to ask your guests to pay for a drink, or whether today’s economy warrants such actions.
Sincerely, Cash-Strapped Bride
Dear Cash-Strapped Bride,
This is a an etiquette no-no. You must always remember that you are, in essence, throwing a party and inviting guests who are not obligated to attend. Their very presence honors you and your spouse and the celebration of your love. Some other cash-saving alternatives are to limit the alcohol options, such as serving beer and wine only. If you must turn the bar into a cash bar, be sure to make that change happen late in the evening, after cocktails and dinner service, where it will not affect the bulk of your guests. I promise you, they will be much happier to drink only water than to be hit up to cover the tab for your wedding.
Please submit your questions to the blog or email them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer them in this ongoing etiquette Q&A series.